Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman & Karen Fairchild, Kelsea Ballerini Host Brunch Honoring Women of Nashville

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Holly Jo
Kimberly Schlapman, Kelsea Ballerini and Karen Fairchild.

“We care about each other, we support each other, we lift up each other, and that's what makes Nashville so very, very special."

The rooftop of Nashville’s L.A. Jackson was packed with a sea of women on Tuesday morning (June 4), when Facebook and Instagram partnered to celebrate the first ladies of the city’s music community ahead of Wednesday night's CMT Music Awards.

Hosted by Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman with Kelsea Ballerini, the brunch gathering served as a message of encouragement for female artists, songwriters and music industry professionals. Schlapman, Fairchild and Ballerini stressed the importance of lifting each other up on social media instead of tearing each other down, noting that Nashville’s communal spirit can have a ripple effect.

“If you look around this room, you see the beautiful faces of the women of Nashville, and we are a force to be reckoned with,” Schlapman noted. “We care about each other, we support each other, we lift up each other, and that's what makes Nashville so very, very special. Facebook and Instagram is all about community, and if we interact with each other, then we have that great community. If we don't, then we lose our community.”

Invoking her favorite Maya Angelou quote -- “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -- Schlapman challenged the room to spread the message of encouragement and to “find the gold” in each other on social media.

Ballerini reiterated that thought, telling those in the room to “empower each other” and encourage each other in the music business before Fairchild shared her wisdom with those in attendance, including Mickey Guyton, Lucie Silvas, Kelleigh Bannen, Amanda Shires, Colbie Caillat, Nelly Joy, Lauren Jenkins, Ingrid Andress, the Sisterhood Band and songwriters Heather Morgan, Caitlyn Smith and Liz Rose, among others. Fairchild also served as a cheerleader for the female community.

“I know it means a lot to me when I get encouraging words from y'all, and it can be the simplest thing of saying something encouraging on someone's photo or Facebook where there's so much negativity and so much divisiveness,” Fairchild said. “It really doesn't take a lot of effort to say something kind. Let's lift each other up.”

Fairchild also discussed her 30-plus years of friendship with bandmate Schlapman, explaining that they often picked each other up and learned to be brave in certain situations. “You guys are up against some not encouraging stats of hearing 44 men before you hear one woman on country radio, labels not signing women. But we're here to say this: Let's look back on this year and say 2019 was the year that it changed,” she encouraged.

She added, “I have heard that some people have said that we're not making compelling music and that's why we're not on the charts, and I'm here to raise up the army of girls that I know are making compelling music and to fight the fight together.”

Following their speeches, the women of Little Big Town teamed up with Ballerini for a stunning rendition of “Girl Crush.” After their performance, Fairchild left the room with a hopeful message. Despite not having a solo woman at No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart since Ballerini’s “Legends” more than a year ago, there are now two women in the top 10. Ballerini’s “Miss Me More” is at No. 3 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart this week, while Maren Morris’ “GIRL” is in the top 10. “We have two girls in the top [10] so let’s celebrate,” she conceded.


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